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Eagles News: Have Philadelphia’s vibes improved?

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 1/6/24.

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Arizona Cardinals v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

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Good Vibes - Iggles Blitz
Nick Sirianni had three press conferences this week and he seemed different. He felt less defensive and more optimistic. Sometimes hitting rock bottom can be a good thing. Maybe the players and coaches realized they’re still pretty lucky. Beyond that, the season isn’t over. They still have a chance to do some good. The world isn’t crashing down. You’re never going to turn things around by burying your head in the sand and being depressed. All you can do is keep grinding. Or maybe go to an escape room. This doesn’t feel like a team that is falling apart. Maybe this is me being too optimistic. Maybe this is me delusionally looking for something good. But there is a different vibe around the team this week. Even if that is true, it doesn’t mean anything if that doesn’t translate to better play on the field. The team led 20-3 and 21-6 the past two weeks. They had a chance at blowing both games wide open. Unfortunately the team choked in both instances, losing to the Cardinals and almost losing to the Giants. If the Eagles can play with more pep in their step, maybe that can finally give us that blowout we’ve all been waiting for.

Haason Reddick admits the Eagles’ DC change has been a hard adjustment for the defense - BGN
It’s been several weeks now since head coach Nick Sirianni made the decision to give the defense from Sean Desai to Matt Patricia, and it has yet to yield positive results. Patricia has spoken to reporters twice in his new role, and both times has played down how different things are under his leadership, saying the defense was a collaborative effort all year, so it’s not something entirely new. While that might be technically true, Haason Reddick spoke on Thursday about how it’s a more difficult adjustment than perhaps was portrayed. When asked how much of what happened on Sunday against the Cardinals was due to the coordinator change, the edge defender was honest about the challenges.

Eye on the Enemy #164: Why Nick Sirianni and Brian Johnson should stick around for 2024 + NFC playoff picture look heading into Week 18 - BGN Radio
John Stolnis shares his thoughts on the current state of the Eagles, why he thinks that Nick Sirianni and Brian Johnson should stick around for 2024 barring some monstrous collapse, the problems on defense, and a wrap-up of the NFC playoff picture heading into Week 18.

In Roob’s Observations: Why did A.J. Brown’s big plays disappear? - NBCSP
1. The biggest difference between A.J. Brown the first eight games of the season and the last eight games isn’t the number of targets or catches. It’s where those targets and catches are. Through Week 8, Brown was averaging 10.4 targets and 7.5 catches per game. The last eight games, he’s at 9.3 targets and 5.6 catches per game. So those numbers are down a bit – 10 percent on targets and 25 percent on catches. But look at his yards per game, yards per target and yards per catch: The first eight weeks: 117 yards per game, 15.7 yards per catch and 11.3 yards per target. The last eight weeks: 64 yards per game, 11.3 yards per catch and 6.9 yards per target. So yards per game is down 45 percent, yards per catch 28 percent and yards per target 39 percent. The big plays have been few and far between. Jalen Hurts is getting him the ball – he’s actually 5th in the NFL in targets over these last eight games – but he’s 22nd in yards. The first eight weeks he was also 5th in targets but 2nd in yards. The big plays have disappeared. Through Week 8, Brown was tied with Tyreek Hill for the most 25-yard receptions in the league with 13. The last eight weeks he’s tied for 67th with two. The same number as Jalen Reagor during that span. Not ideal. Some of this is on Nick Sirianni and Brian Johnson, but much of it is on Hurts, who’s had opportunities to connect on medium-range and deep balls with Brown and has either misfired, taken the underneath throw or taken off scrambling. I like what Johnson said on Tuesday: “A.J. is a great player and we’ve got to force him the ball sometimes and make sure we get him going.” Brown is way too talented not to be making a ton of plays down the field.

Running back Rashaad Penny staying positive despite limited role: ‘I’ve just always been ready’ - Inquirer
When running back Rashaad Penny found out that he was going to be inactive for the Eagles’ Week 1 matchup against the New England Patriots, he said he was “shocked.” Penny was active the following week against the Minnesota Vikings with Kenneth Gainwell out injured. But of the next 14 games, Penny was inactive for 11 of them and did not play in two others, including last week’s 35-31 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Penny has just five carries for 17 yards and one reception for 5 yards on the season. The exact reason why Penny hasn’t played as much as he initially anticipated when he signed with the Eagles, from his perspective, isn’t quite clear. “It’s been kind of a mystery all year,” Penny told The Inquirer. “But it’s good, though. I mean, I’m in a better headspace about things.”

Spadaro: 6 storylines to follow in regular-season finale vs. Giants - PE.com
1. No DeVonta Smith in the Eagles’ lineup. There is no player tougher than DeVonta Smith, who is going to miss the first game of his three-season NFL career. He finishes the regular season with 81 receptions, 1,066 yards, and 7 touchdowns. How do the Eagles adjust without Smith, who teams so well with A.J. Brown and presents such problems for defensive backfields? That’s the big question for an Eagles offense that moved the ball extremely well against the Giants two weeks ago, including Smith’s 4 receptions for 79 yards, including a 36-yard catch and run for a touchdown. Julio Jones is coming off a two-touchdown game against Arizona. Quez Watkins has the speed to play outside and make the defense respect his deep-threat ability. Olamide Zaccheaus has been a reliable target this season. The Eagles have options. It’s just going to be ... different without one of the best receivers in the NFL.

2024 NFL Mock Draft 4.0: Bears reset at QB with USC’s Caleb Williams, Patriots land LSU’s Jayden Daniels - PFF
26. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: CB TERRION ARNOLD, ALABAMA. McKinstry was the top star in Alabama’s secondary to begin the season, but Arnold has emerged as a potential first-rounder, as well. He is a very impressive athlete who has the long speed, quickness and body control to mirror receivers of all shapes and sizes. He recorded five interceptions with 14 forced incompletions this season.

Cowboys injury report: Johnathan Hankins, Tyler Smith questionable - Blogging The Boys
The Dallas Cowboys are on the cusp of their last regular-season finale against the Washington Commanders, and for the Cowboys, it’s simple. Win on the road against Washington, or a Philadelphia Eagles loss, and the Dallas Cowboys are NFC East champions, with the division not having a repeat champion dating back to 2004. Teams out of postseason contention often won’t dress many starters for the last game of their season, especially when players are injured. The Commanders are no different, and their injury report this week hints at them sitting some of their starters on Sunday. Advantage Cowboys.

Change is coming to the New York Giants’ coaching staff - Big Blue View
Losing Martindale would be a blow to the Giants. The veteran defensive coordinator has done a good job in his two seasons with the team. He is popular with the players. He runs a system different than most teams around the league, and that opponents admit is difficult to prepare for and play against. Losing him would mean starting over with a new system, and by extension having to revamp at least some of the personnel. It would also likely mean a ripple effect of losing position coaches. Outside linebackers coach Drew Wilkins, for example, is a Martindale disciple from his days with the Baltimore Ravens.

Washington Commanders Roster Moves: Three cornerbacks placed on injured reserve - Hogs Haven
The Washington Commanders have placed three cornerbacks on injured reserve. All three of them had been ruled out of Sunday’s home season finale against the Dallas Cowboys. Kendall Fuller(knee) missed last week’s loss to the San Francisco 49ers, and miss what could potentially be his last game with Washington. Fuller is a free agent, and could leave with a new coaching staff likely coming in soon. This was his second stint with Washington. He was drafted by the Redskins in 2016 in the 3rd round, but he was traded away the following year as part of the Alex Smith trade. He returned in free agency in 2020, Ron Rivera’s first year in charge of the team.

What happens in Week 18 after a potentially franchise-altering win in Week 17? - Revenge Of The Birds
A Galvanized Fanbase. Cardinals fans have been doom and gloom just about all season, all last offseason… all the way back to the second-half collapse of 2021, really. And for good reason—this franchise has been floundering since that glorious 10-2 start. But things seem a little different for Cardinals fans after that Eagles win—here on RotB, callers on 98.7, anecdotally amongst my friends. There seems to be some hope in the air, some “How ‘bout them Cardinals?” going around. The players have clearly bought into what Gannon and Monti Ossenfort are putting together, and it seems like the fans have started to buy in as well.

Our expert NFL picks for Week 18 of 2023 - SB Nation
Then there was one. We are in the final week of the 2023 regular season, and for a lot of fans they just can’t wait for this to all be over. Unpredictability and injury marred this season from the opening week, and it never stopped. We saw some of the star’s biggest players suffer injuries and their team fall by the wayside, while simultaneously watch as some organizations rose from the ashes to become contenders. If nothing else this has been one of the most unpredictable rides imaginable, and that carries into Week 18. There are a lot of teams who have nothing to play for on both ends of the spectrum. The best will be sitting starters in preparation for the playoffs, while the worst are just waiting for the draft to begin. However, there are a few games to really pay attention to as the regular season comes to a close.

TGIFootball #22: Previewing Week 18 - The SB Nation NFL Show
RJ Ochoa and Stephen Serda preview every game across the NFL in Week 18. There are several playoff scenarios to keep an eye on–and several teams expected to sit their starters.

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